Google Theology: “Is God…?”

Google has become our culture’s guru.  People come to it with questions both mundane and serious, and the most-asked questions get automatically suggested to people in the future.  We at Redeeming Culture want to help, so we’re going to answer the top five (as of November 2015) Google Autocomplete suggestions for the phrase “Is God…”.

“Is God real?”

There are many arguments for His existence: the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, the Anecdotal argument.

But more to the point, whatever you worship is your god.  If you put all of your time, energy, and money into something, that’s your god!  The question you should really ask is, what is your god?  Is it a hobby?  Is it a person or animal?  Is it a political cause?  These things will do nothing but let you down.  They can’t be your god.  They weren’t meant to.

But a God beyond reality doesn’t let you down.  He can’t.  It’s against His nature.  He was meant to be all-satisfying, and He is.

“Is God an alien?”

The Bible says that God is “holy.”  This means a lot of things to the modern person, but the word actually means “set apart.”  It means different.  It means almost unrecognizable to us.  In short, it means…alien.

This all means that, when the Bible calls us to follow God and be holy, we’re actually supposed to become alien, too.  We are supposed to be unrecognizable and strange to those around us.

Yes, God is alien.  But He is not an extraterrestrial.

“Is God a spirit?”

Jesus answered this one directly, while he was on this planet.  When talking to a woman from Samaria, who had tried to deflect the conversation away from her sin and toward a popular religious debate of the day, Jesus told her that the location of her worship wasn’t nearly as important as the object of her worship.  “God is spirit”—that is, He is everywhere—”and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 ESV)

God is a spirit.  He is everywhere, and He is always worthy of our praise.

“Is God dead?”

This is…well, kind of a weird thing to ask, right?  God either exists or doesn’t.  But how could an omnipotent being have existed at one time, but then been killed?

German scientist and atheist Friedrich Nietzsche popularized the phrase “God is dead” in his works; he intended it to mean, not that God was once alive but is no more, but rather that we are an enlightened society which no longer needs God.

But Nietzsche’s insistence can’t account for human sinfulness.  The very enlightenment he touts insists that we all recognize that there is a difference between right and wrong (even if we can’t agree on where that line is).  An absolute line.  That line must come from somewhere outside of ourselves, because there’s no way that we could come up with it on our own.  And the sinfulness of crossing it is incredibly dangerous; its consequence is death.

Ironically for Nietzsche, our society needs God.  Not only that…it needs God to die.

Keep reading.

“Is God a man?”

When Jesus was sent to the world, He wasn’t sent just to be a moral teacher.  He was given a command by God to save the world.  And in order to do that, he would have to become a man.

So when Jesus came to this world, He became a man.  One hundred percent.  Of course, He was also still God.  One hundred percent.

But the plan to save us all from the sin we gain when we transgress God’s command required that Jesus die.  And for three days, Nietzsche was right: God was dead.

And when He rose again, He didn’t lose His humanity!  The Bible says that Jesus is not “a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but […] who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)  He’s human.  He understands us.  He experienced the worst we have to offer, and He loved us until He died nonetheless.

The writer of Hebrews continues.  Because Jesus understands us so well, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)  We can approach God for help because Jesus is a man!

It’s the best news in the world.

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